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and courtly manners; and these imply such an unnatural suppression of feelings, such an habitual restraint upon the emotions of every kind, such a false position of the mind at all times, as is most easily learnt under the sway and the dread of a despotic prince or his provincial representative. Accordingly, the manners of the Orientals are known to be polite in an extravagant degree; while there is a want of polish in the subjects of free states which has made the roughness of a Republican almost proverbial.
Our next specimen directs a charge of partiality even against our English judges :
So of the administration of justice ; none of our judges receive bribes, or submit to being solicited by the parties in secret.
But does it follow, because we have not the worst of all corruptions, bribed justice, or canvassed justice, that therefore all judges hear all causes without bias, and that consequently we may dispense with the control of juries, or let juries be packed, or suffer them to forget their duties and follow blindly the judge's direction? Or does it follow, that a law for keeping judges independent of the Crown, by preventing their translation, is absolutely superfluous ? Or in France, does it follow that the practice of soliciting judges is harmless, because bribery, a far worse corruption, is never known in our day? Again, among ourselves as well as our neighbours, no one supposes that the judge is always partial, and no one gives him very great credit for being quite pure and unbiassed in the vast majority of cases which he tries. In all these he has neither interest nor feeling to mislead him; for the parties are absolutely unknown to him, and he can have no kind of interest in the event of the cause. But where he happens to know the parties, where one is very powerful, respectable, and a favourite with the profession, or is defended by an advocate who is a favourite with the court, is it quite certain that the judge never gives him, not indeed an unjust judgment in the main parts, but some of those little interlocutory advantages which may operate, taken together, very materially on the result? At any rate, is it quite clear that he always makes the same unfavourable remarks on his conduct, or omits the same laudatory and respectful observations which he would in the case of a person wholly indifferent? Above all, in questions where the Church, the Crown, the great institutions of the state are parties, or are referred to, does the judge always keep his mind quite equal between power and dignity on the one side and unprotected obscurity on the other? It is certainly not every judge now in this country who will try a cause between the Sovereign, or the Bishops, or the Houses of Parliament, or the Universities, and an unknown individual, precisely as he would both in manner and in substance between two private parties, whose names he heard for the first time when the pleadings were opened. Yet these are a very small number of questions compared with the thousands in which the judge can feel no kind of bias any way; and yet this enormous disproportion by no means destroys the force of the remarks upon the grievous effects of the partialities we have been referring to, as often as they do operate. In this respect, the argument is the same in regard to the abuses in the institutions of England, of Russia, and of Turkey.
Our concluding extract concerns a curious practice on the part of the papacy:
Connected with this is the nepotism, or care to provide for their own families, generally their nephews, but not unfrequently their own natural children, which has become inseparably associated with the idea of the papacy. For many ages it was the constant course to endow those relatives with lands the property of the see, or enable them to amass large sums by holding offices and extorting enormous emoluments through means at which the sovereign connived, or by direct gifts of money. Paul the Fifth bestowed on Cardinal Borghese 150,000 scudi a year in preferment of various kinds; that and the Aldrovandini branch of the family obtained each a million of capital from him; and though these are scudi of 4s, 6d., it would be a low estimate to reckon the sums in the beginning of the seventeenth century equal to only half as many pounds at this day. Clement the Eighth, in the space of thirteen years, gave above half a million sterling to his family; and Sixtus the Fifth, who had begun his reign by refusing to hold any intercourse with his relatives, soon fell so far into the common track as to bestow on one nephew, in lands and money, a revenue of 50,0001. The Barberinis are reported to have received from Urban the Eighth the incredible sum of 105,000,000 scudi, equal to above 40,000,0001. sterling of the present time. Thus much, however, is certain, that the pope was himself staggered with the enormous wealth which he had heaped on his family, and appointed a commission in 1640 to examine the legality of his grants. The report was that the Holy Father, being a secular as well as spiritual prince, might justifiably apply to his family's use whatever savings he could make; and that to the extent of 80,000 scudi a year (30,0001. or 40,000l. at present) he might reasonably endow as an estate for each nephew, and give 70,000 or 80,000 portion to each niece. The General of the Jesuits, being likewise consulted, was of opinion that such allowance to family affection and papal munificence was perfectly moderate.
But the lavish grants of lands and money were the least part by far of the mischief. These only took place after a much worse evil had been put down by positive decrees,-namely, conferring on sons or nephews principalities which were thus alienated from the see, except the feudal superiority that was reserved, beside involving it in quarrels with other powers. Indeed, the sacrifices made to the monarch's personal interests of all the best interests of the state, were never in any country so ample or so apparent as under the Romish government. Not only the whole policy, foreign and domestic, of such reigns as those of the infamous though able Borgia, (Alexander the Sixth,) turned entirely upon the plan of exalting the papal family; but a man comparatively respectable, as Paul the Third, could change his whole course and alter the whole policy of the country in the conflicts between Charles the Fifth and Francis the First, upon a speculation of obtaining the Milanese for his nephew, who had married the emperor's natural daughter, and his subsequent quarrel with that sovereign, by which the Reformation gained incalculably and the see suffered in proportion, originated altogether in the disputes respecting an indemnity for Parma and Placentia, the principality given to the pope's son Pietro Luigi. Paul the Fourth, enthusiastic reformer as he was, suffered his course during great part of his reign to be perverted by the influence which he gave Caraffa, his nephew, a mere soldier, devoid of principle and conduct, whom he had made Cardinal, and who was executed by the succeeding pope. Even Sixtus the Fifth, how much soever he might be above the weakness of a vulgar nepotism, made some of his greatest exertions to enlarge the obscure towns of his native province, and load it with new archbishoprics and bishoprics. Nay, the influence of family connexion had become so established a part of the system, that not only Lorenzo de Medici could pen a serious remonstrance to Innocent the Eighth, who, unlike his predecessor Sixtus the Fourth, was scrupulous about promoting his relations, but if a pope by some unaccountable accident, or peculiarity of constitution, refused to have a nephew in the conclave with supreme influence over the administration and the pontiff himself, cardinals and even foreign powers would make formal remonstrances against an omission that subjected them to inconvenience in carrying on their wonted intrigues in the Sacred College.
Art. VII.-1. Theodore Körner's Lyre and Sword. Whittaker. 2. Poems from Eastern Sources, fc. By R. Cı. Trencil. Moxon. 3. I watched the Heavens; a Poem. By V. Saunders and Otley. 4. Luther ; a Poem. By Robert MONTGOMERY. Baisler. Poems, or rather verses, in spite of the prevalent distaste for anything in the shape of poetry, continue to outnumber every other sort of light literature presented to us. We indeed generally turn with a degree of sickness from these offerings, feeling assured, if the name of the author be unknown or be withheld, that a flat mediocrity without character, without the vitality of nature, will repel and cloy us before we have got half way into the piece, or the volume should it consist principally of a miscellaneous collection,a circumstance next to a dead certainty,-just as if a number of occasional rhymes, without a digested purpose, without matter and finish, could, however melodious the verse or sparkling the imagery, float a volume into popularity and establish for it a corner among such lofty lyrics as have moved a nation's heart, such simple ditties as at once melt or inspire, never again to be forgotten. Now and then, however, we meet with a familiar name, with a contribution from a legitimate son of song; and therefore with greedy anticipation one sets about a deliberate examination, not without a degree of trembling lest he may have been borne down by a leaden age, or chilled by the cold atmosphere around him. A Campbell or a Wordsworth may step forth beyond the threshold of the sanctuary in which fame has enshrined him, and which has been built by a people's sympathies and memories; and yet he may have grown
weak since the days of his early manhood; or what is not less likely, the world may have lost part of its hearty relish for the mellow, the chastened utterances of a spirit that knows how and when to seek for fire at the muse's shrine. Still, let us hail these visitations, whenever they promise to bless us, especially when seeing they are so few and far between; nay, let us not bend a discouraging look towards any feebler adventurer who may heretofore have won an approving sentiment from us, and taken his post amongst the minors of our era.
The name standing first in our list has been rendered familiar to English ears by a variety of translations; while it is held in exceedingly high repute by the people of Germany, especially that less critical multitude who are apt to test poetry by the personal character and the actual history of the poet. Körner was a young man, and his plays were deemed extraordinary for a writer of his years, while they were set down as pregnant with mighty promise. If strictly tested, however, his dramas presented little which a clever, aspiring, over-confident, and exaggerating youth might not have produced, even although devoid of the muse's genuine fire, of sympathy with the essentially beautiful, of deep-welling thought, of passion, of soaring imagination. At any rate, if endowed with these high attributes they were not developed in his plays with an unquestionably poetic power. He but seemed to tread as an imitator, and one far in the rear, in the steps of Schiller's thoughts and verse. It was in the composition of such fugitive pieces as are met with in the collection called the “ Lyre and the Sword,” that he produced some things which appear worthy of preservation, and that seem destined to transmit his name to German posterity. inspired with an ardent patriotism, and strove, like many of his fellow-citizens with a noble bearing to rescue his country from French oppression, to earn the triumph of national independence, and to realize the glories of the Great Frederick's epoch. His songs partook of the sudden bursts which a youth with such poses and with such emotions could not fail to utter, and with a considerable share of the skill which a practitioner in building the formal rhyme might be expected to display. These opportune appeals to a country's enthusiasm combined with the poet's heroism in the field, and crowned by his falling in the struggle, won for him the extravagant honours showered upon his memory as a patriot, and the niche, not wholly, or anything like wholly merited, which has been accorded him by the youngsters of Germany, and some dozens of translators in England.
Mr. Trench's “ Poems from Eastern Sources; The Steadfast Prince; and other Poems," present first to us legendary stories and proverbial philosophy; all of them breathing more or less an Oriental air, but containing much real poetry, whatever be the clime to which
they may be apportioned. There is a richness of fancy and an easy sweetness of versification throughout the volume indeed whichi indicate a power and a skill that might invest any subject with beauty. The danger is that when a person possesses the gifts and the training which manifestly belong to Mr. Trench, that an undue playfulness may characterize his poems, or that he may be tempted to task his muse with experiments. Hence too much is made of the things selected, and an affected quaintness, instead of the pure and flowing stream of thought, giving us the essence of truth and nature, distinguishes the production. The story of the “Steadfast Prince," viz. that of Ferdinand of Portugal, who died in captivity, and after suffering the grossest indignities at the command of the Moorish monarch, who demanded Ceuta as a ransom,—the terms being accepted by the King of Portugal, but refused by the Prince the presumptive heir,—is the ground-work of an anxiously constructed poem, abounding with episodes, and noble sentiments. The impression left by the whole piece is not equal however to what might have been expected from passages of it; arising, we think, from the over-doing tendency of the poet. The “Other Poems" are of the occasional character, frequently consisting of translations or adaptations of existing compositions. Whether as imitations or originals they are far superior in regard both to thought and expression to nine-tenths of the miscellaneous poems which are published. They ought not to be fugitive. Indeed Mr. Trench excels when he gives us minors. His conceits are on these occasions pretty, often racy and novel, while the verse is oddly neat. Take one of his Seasons as an example of what he can do in a small way. Winter is the subject :
The dark pine wears the snow, as head
The floods are armed with silver shields,
For he who trod heaven's middle road
Now through small corner of the sky
To mutter 'twixt their teeth the streams,